"Little girls read books."

Translation:Les petites filles lisent des livres.

April 8, 2013

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I thought it would be "De petites filles lisent des livres?...since there is an adjective in front of the noun.


You are right, without any hint on the context, you could interpret this sentence two ways:

  • Little girls as the plural of A little girl => une petite fille -> de petites filles (des becomes de in front of an adjective)

  • Little girls [all] read books, as a generality => les petites filles (in general) read books (generalities use the definite article)


It tells me:

Correct solutions: Des petites filles lisent des livres. Les petites filles lisent des livres.

But I thought you said that "(des becomes de in front of an adjective)"?


The most correct form is "de petites filles", you are right. But that rule is not always respected and you can hear and use "des petites filles". The meaning does not change.


I wrote exactly that but it was wrong.


(As always) What Sitesurf said. We had a lengthy discussion about the issue a while ago. Maybe you're interested: http://duolingo.com/#!/comment/27813


I am impressed by the length of that 9 month old thread... I had not joined yet then, so it is very interesting for me to read it now. Also not sure any French native speaker contributed in that discussion, too bad. Thanks for the insight.


I wrote "De petites filles lisent des livres" and it was accepted, it doesn't suggest "Des petites filles lisent des livres" anymore.


That's funny, because I had the first of those "correct solutions". And it's wrong. Duolingo gives me only one variant: "Correct solution: Les petites filles lisent des livres".


Well, if Duo and Sitesurf disagree you should trust Sitesurf…


I was simply surprised, that antoniojl's "correct solutions" were "Des petites filles..." and "Les petites filles...". Now Duolingo gives only one variant. :)


@benzopila: ok, I misunderstood your post.


Same here; the only correct solution offered is "les petites filles lisent des livres" and my "des petites filles lisent des livres" (translation I'd given for "little girls read books" is being rejected.


Oh, I'm sorry; I'll go through the links provided on the page first...


In this case, LES petites filles wouldn't be "THE little girls"? Shouldn't be instead "DES petites filles" for "Little girls"?


The definite plural article can also be used to refer to groups in a general sense. See here for more details: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa082401.htm


It's very helpful! Thanks a lot!


So it can't be DES ?


I don't understand. I put "des petites filles lisent des livres" and lost a heart.


same here and it is not correct. It says ' little girls' which means some little girls not the, therefore it should be 'des petites filles'


If you follow the links already posted to this discussion (e.g. this one http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa082401.htm ) you can easily check that there is nothing wrong with duo's translation.


sure but is there something wrong with our translation ;) ?


Yes, it is. This has also already been answered.


It'd have to be "de petites filles" (at least that's the more proper form). See Sitesurf's comment above.


As noted below, it could be "Les petites filles lisent les livres." if you mean books in general.


no, "les petites filles lisent les livres" is "the little girls read THE books".


It could mean either. Just as "J'aime le lait." could mean "I like milk." or "I like the milk."


I wrote les livres instead of des livres but isn't that also right? If so, why did Duolingo mark it wrong?


"les livres" = "the books" = specific books (the ones we gave them, for ex)

"les petites filles lisent des livres" is the plural of "les petites filles lisent un livre " = some books = more than one book.

Remember that "un/une" have a plural form: "des", whereas the English indefinite article "a" does not have a plural form.


Why is it that in some cases it seems like you structure as noun-adjective (ie "girls little" or "filles petites") and in other cases you structure as adjective-noun (ie "little girls" or "petites filles")


Most adjectives are placed after the noun. Others are usually placed in front of them (most notably, the BAGS group: beauty, age, good and bad, size) . And a few can be placed either way. In that case, the meaning often changes depending on where you place it. See here for more details: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm


Thank you so much.


It tells me the correct translation is "De fillettes lisent des livres." I've never seen "fillettes" used on duolingo before! Is that correct? Strange that they'd introduce a word without defining it: What does it mean?


une fillette / des fillettes

= une petite fille / de petites filles

"fillette" sounds a bit out dated, the French don't use it often in speech, although still in writing.


I only remember fillette from Mulan's Comme un Homme. Femmelette was also used.


Why De before petites and why not petits


une petite fille / un petit garçon (fem/masc)

des filles / des garçons (plural fem and masc: "des" is the plural form of "un" or "une")

de petites filles / de petits garçons ("des" becomes "de" in front of an adjective)


Its telling me the correct response is fillets what happened here? This is not a word...


I thought des means some books


What I'm confused about is how it told one of the translations for 'little' alone is peu. But when I tried that I was completely rejected.


Peu means little in the sense of "a little bit". It isn't used when referring to the size of a person


oh that makes a lot more sense thanks


it doesnt say 'some little girls' or 'the little girls'


I wrote "des petites filles lisent des livres", could someone tell why it isn't correct?


des filles - de petites filles: in front of an adjective, des is changed to de

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